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>> Welcome to "25"
>> Hall of Fame englisch
>> Interview with Ariane Grigoteit
>> Visionary Spaces: Zaha Hadid

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Hall of Fame:
The Most Treasured Works in the Anniversary Exhibition "25"

Choosing no more than ten pieces from among 50,000 means, above all, limiting, concentrating and re-choosing, until one has found one’s absolute favorites. Twenty-five godparents have done just that for the anniversary exhibition ”25”, subjecting the Deutsche Bank to an ”external” point of view. With so many artworks to choose from, it’s astonishing that several godparents chose the same pieces – and it’s reason enough to present these objects of desire in the Hall of Fame.

Please click on the picture to watch the slideshow I.

Where does one start, which piece does one put aside, and above all, which criteria should one use for the favorites that will assert one’s own personal perspective against those of the others? These were some of the questions confronting the prominent godparents who were meant to choose their favorite works from the world’s largest corporate art collection. More than 300 pictures and objects now displayed in the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin give a varied overview of 20th century art. And 20 pieces seemed to hold a very special fascination for the participating museum directors, curators, gallery owners, art advisors and bankers: as the stars of the Collection, they ended up on the wish lists of several godparents. But what makes one artwork more attractive than another? Is it even possible to weigh Franz Marc against August Macke; can one decide in favor of Kurt Schwitters and against Max Beckmann, or play off Sigmar Polke against Joseph Beuys?

Each of the works in the exhibition, which reaches from early 20th century artists such as Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emil Nolde or Ernst Barlach through the present day - as represented by Miwa Yanagi, Bill Viola or Kara Walker - tells a piece of art history. But the godparents were not given the task of judging the works according to their artistic merit or importance in art history.

Copyrights for the works:
©Alys, Yvon Lambert, Paris | © Baselitz | © Beckmann, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2005 | © Beuys, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Ernst, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Grosz, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Kandinsky, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Kiefer, Barjac | © Kirchner, Ingeborg & Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern | © Klapheck, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 |

More important was to what degree the works chosen determined the history and genesis of the Collection, from the point of view of those who have accompanied it as friends and companions. Although most of the godparents were directly involved in shaping the Collection, whether as external advisors or discussion partners, they were able to retain their distanced view. Despite their different professions and connections to art in the Bank, the favorites that were repeatedly named suggest a surprising consensus in their choices.

Please click on the picture to watch the slideshow II.

It is immediately noticeable that the godparents have concentrated on German art in the works that were chosen more than once. In addition, there is a clear preference for figurative tendencies, an obvious trend towards Classical Modernism. By choosing watercolors by Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Wassily Kandinsky, works on paper by Oskar Schlemmer, Ernst Wilhelm Nay and Georg Baselitz, the godparents display a clear commitment to those protagonists who provided decisive impulses for the artistic language of the 20th century. Of course, contemporary and international points of departure are represented with artists such as Neo Rauch or Francis Alys. But these are far more strongly represented in the exhibition as a whole, since the Collection’s emphasis in the past decade has shifted from German art to global developments in the young art scene.

The Hall of Fame paints its own individual picture. Here, works are honored that remained misunderstood to most people during the age they were created, and whose innovative and visionary force only comes into its own with the advantage of time. What apparently pushed to the fore back then has lost none of its potency in the current day – that too is the essence of the Collection, which becomes tangible in the godparents’ Hall of Fame.

©Macke, artist and legal heirs | © Marc, artist and legal heirs | © Elisabeth Nay-Scheibler, Köln | © Nolde, Nolde-Stiftung Seebüll | © Rauch, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005 | © Richter | © Schiele, artist and legal heirs | © Schwitters, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2005